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Success Built to Last

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Success Built to Last

Creating a Life that Matters

Wharton School Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

For success that is engineered to last, figure out what matters the most to you...and pursue it.

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From 1996 to 2006, Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson interviewed more than 200 "enduringly successful people," seeking their personal insights as a follow-up to Porras’ bestselling book Built to Last. The authors began each interview with an open-ended question designed to provoke an unstructured conversation about the meaning of success. The authors drew from these highly personalized revelations to extrapolate the qualities that high achievers share, particularly a driving desire to have meaningful impact. The authors vetted their perceptions by surveying business experts about their findings. While the book’s ideas aren’t new - follow your passion, be optimistic, build a great team - they are reliable, and the insight into business celebrities’ thoughts is instructive and valuable. If you share the drive to make a difference and lead a life of purpose, getAbstract recommends this book. It can help you pursue your goals with gusto.


"Practice Integrity"

Before being released from jail at age 71, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned for opposing apartheid in South Africa. Instead of dwelling in bitterness over wasted time, he focused on promoting a peaceful solution to his nation’s political problems. Mandela’s strength derives from his unshakable convictions and his commitment to a larger purpose.

Mandela’s contribution is well-known, but some of the most unlikely people - mild-mannered, socially awkward and even downright nerdy - have built lives full of accomplishment. Although you cannot group these successful "Builders" by nationality, personal style or financial status, they do share key personal traits, particularly a conviction that they must improve the world. In conversational interviews, 200 outstanding achievers reported that their success continues to revolve around passionate beliefs. These builders, it turns out, are mostly ordinary people with extraordinary dedication.

"Love It or Lose It"

Most prevalent views of success focus on fame and money, and they’re wrong. Wealth, acclaim and influence are hollow benchmarks without happiness, strong relationships and pursuits...

About the Authors

Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson teach self-improvement and organizational development. Porras, professor emeritus of organizational behavior and change at Stanford, co-wrote Built to Last. Emery wrote Actualizations and The Owner’s Manual for Your Life. Thompson is a veteran entrepreneur and executive coach.

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    R. T. 3 years ago
    One of those ones that you don't expect to be good, but it is.

    While I’m never completely convinced by the “follow your passion” argument, this goes a fair way towards articulating the idea successfully. And it has that essential dash of realism - which makes it more believable.

    In short, there's nothing intrinsically new in this – but it’s very nicely put as a summary.

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